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How to look after a new tattoo

So you've got your new ink, and you're ready to show it off . . . but don't go crazy just yet. Looking after a new tattoo properly is essential if you want to have a crystal clear tattoo with vibrant colours that last. Different tattoo artists might have different recommendations on how to take care of your tattoo, but these are the main rules to follow if you want to know how to look after a new tattoo . . .

How to look after a new tattoo: The first 24 hours

Follow the advice your tattoo artist has given you about how long to leave the wrapping on for (after all, they're professionals!). Some might say a few hours, some prefer you leave it overnight, but the minimum time you should leave your tattoo covered up for is three hours. Once it's un-wrapped you shouldn't re-cover it because it needs the air to get to it to start the healing process. Saying that, don't forget that it's basically an open wound (albeit an awesome-looking one), so you should try to avoid getting bacteria on it when it's really new.

Once you've un-wrapped it and spent some time gazing at it adoringly, use your hands to wash it with warm water and mild soap – it'll still have some residue of ointment, ink, blood and plasma on it. It's going to be, at best, sensitive and, at worst, uncomfortable, but man (or woman!) up and make sure that you wash it thoroughly but gently. If you leave any of that lovely plasma on your skin, the tattoo is more likely to scab. The more scabs that form, the higher the risk of scabs coming off before they're ready and pulling some of the ink out with them. Be gentle!

Pat your new tattoo dry with a clean, soft towel or paper towel once it's been washed – if you rub at it, you're likely to damage your tattoo.

How to look after a new tattoo: The first week

Wash, dry and apply!

Wash your new tattoo 3-5 times a day for the first few days, drying gently and applying Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare each time. You only need to apply a very thin layer of aftercare and make sure it's fully absorbed. You don't want a thick layer of aftercare sitting on your skin because it can make any scabs too moist and easier to come off before they're ready.

It's normal to have some scabbing, but whatever you do . . . DON'T PICK! Pulling, picking or rubbing off the scabs will lead to discolouration of your new tattoo, and you've invested too much into it to ruin it before it's even healed.

Be careful with any clothing that's likely to rub your new tattoo while it's healing. Now, we're not advocating wearing no clothes at all (we wouldn't want to be held liable for any customers getting arrested!), but think about what you're wearing and whether it's likely to irritate your ink. For example, if you ladies get a new tattoo that sits under your bra strap, strapless bras may be the way forward until it's healed. Similarly, if you have a new foot tattoo, we'd advise that you wear sandals or open shoes until it heals – the skin on your foot is very delicate and tattoos in that area are more at risk of the ink bleeding.

Your tattoo will start to peel after a few days like sunburn, but don't panic, this is normal and all part of the healing process. This is when your tattoo will start to itch, but whatever you do, don't scratch it! If it's really unbearable, slap the tattoo lightly – we know it sounds odd, but it really works.

Once the peeling starts you can start using an unperfumed, mild moisturising lotion, but again, only use a light layer.

How to look after a new tattoo: The second week

By now your tattoo will probably have gone through the main healing process, and you might notice that it looks duller than it first did. This is natural, and gradually the duller layers of skin will come off giving you a bright and vibrant tattoo.

Even though it's healed, you should still take extra care of your new tattoo for the first few months.

Things to avoid while your tattoo is healing:

  • Direct sunlight – you should always use sunblock on any tattoos to protect them from the sun and minimise fading, but it's especially important for a new tattoo to avoid the sunlight completely. As your tattoo is healing the top layers of your skin are easily burned, and the sun can do some serious damage to the colour.
  • Soaking your tattoo - going swimming (also bad because of the chlorine or salt) and soaking it in the bath are both to be avoided. You should only take showers while your tattoo is healing if you want to keep it fresh and dry!
  • Scratching, picking and rubbing – be careful how you touch it, and try not to rub against anything.
  • Applying scented creams or perfume – these can irritate the delicate, healing skin and cause permanent damage to your tattoo.
  • Getting dirt on it – sounds obvious, but any dirt or bacteria that get into your new tattoo can cause infections, which means that it's likely to take longer to heal and can mean damage in the long term. However much your tattoo's sheer loveliness makes you want to stroke it, make sure your hands are squeaky clean every time you touch it, and that goes for other people wanting to touch it too.

What makes Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare perfect for taking care of a new tattoo?

Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare is 100% natural and 100% cruelty free. It's been specially formulated by tattoo industry heavyweights to heal your tattoo quickly and effectively, using a unique blend of essential vitamins and minerals.

Why is Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare better than the general ointment some people recommend?

General ointments and creams aren't specifically made for healing tattoos, so they can actually cause more harm than good – clogging pores, slowing the healing process and pulling the colour out of your tattoo. Not good! Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare is designed to help your tattoo to heal properly, avoid scabbing and keep your new ink clear and vivid. Having been successfully tested on hundreds, if not thousands, of tattoos, your new tattoo is in the safest of hands.

When should I apply Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare?

Follow your tattoo artist's recommendation about how long to keep your tattoo covered for and when to wash your tattoo in hot water for the first time. Once you've washed your tattoo, pat it dry gently (no scrubbing or you'll damage the hard work they've put into it!) and apply a thin layer of Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare.

How often should I apply Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare?

Our fantastic tattoo aftercare should be applied 3-5 times a day for the first few days as your new tattoo is healing. If your tattoo dries out, it's likely to scab and lose colour, so make sure that you keep your skin nice and supple by using Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare regularly.

How much Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare should I apply?

Little and often should be your mantra! A very thin layer of Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare is all that's needed to keep your tattoo on the path to perfect healing. Tattoos usually scab a little as part of the healing process, and if you're putting too much moisture onto your skin, the scabs could start to peel off before they're ready and pull some of the vibrant colour out.
It's my first tattoo, what can I expect from Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare?
Taking care of a new tattoo is very important - if you don't look after it properly, it can end up discoloured, faded and not looking its best. As long as you follow our recommendations for using Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare, as well as the advice of your tattoo artist, your tattoo will look amazing!

Is Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare tested on animals?

No, we're very proud to say that Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare is 100% cruelty free, meaning you'll have nothing on your conscience during the healing process of your new tattoo!

Will Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare block my pores?

No. Because Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare contains only natural healing ingredients, protecting your new tattoo without clogging up your pores.

Can I use Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare for anything else?

Obviously your main reason for buying Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare is taking care of a new tattoo, but its healing, moisturising and anti-itching qualities mean that you can also use it for minor sunburn, cuts, insect bites, dry skin and much, much more. We know, we're good to you!

Might I have an allergic reaction to Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare?

Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare doesn't contain any harsh chemicals, only 100% natural ingredients. This means that it's highly unlikely to cause irritation or an allergic reaction, but do check the list of ingredients in case you're allergic to something that we use.

Where can I buy Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare from?

Right here! We're also currently building trusted partnerships with professional tattoo studios around the UK, so do check with your tattoo artist if they stock Black Cat Tattoo Aftercare. And if not, ask them why not!